New MLB DUI Policy In The Works?


Recent problems have prompted MLB and its Players Association to look into the possibility of dealing with DUI suspensions with troublesome players.

We have seen this horrific trend continue to skyrocket and we are now seeing more and more players being charged with the crime and never shorted any real playing time as a result. As a member of the public such as these players and coaches are, you are shocked they can go out, get charged with a DUI, and be right back playing that weekend. Much like the steroid policy, they are now looking for ways to curb that and put a new rule in place to deter such actions.

Shin-Soo Choo is only the most recent member to such actions. Choo was charged Monday with a DUI arrest and was in uniform Tuesday night when the Indians played in Oakland. So far this season, five other players have been charged with this crime.

Choo’s Indian teammate Austin Kearns was charged with a DUI February 12th in Kentucky. For an extended period he decided not to share the news with the team on advice from his lawyer. Yesterday he was in the news himself yet again to try and dismiss the case all together because he was arrested by an off-duty police officer.

Just a few days later, Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera was arrested less than a week into spring training. He was caught roadside with a smoking engine and cops noticed he smelt of alcohol and had extremely slurred speech. We all know a little about the situation, but he refused to cooperate, was handcuffed, and even “kept running into the road with his hands up.” He was drinking scotch right in front of the cops, they had to use excessive force and Cabrera went on to repeatedly shout, “Do you know who I am? You don’t know anything about my problems!”

Oakland A’s outfielder Coco Crisp was charged with a DUI in early March while in spring training in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was reported to be swerving between lanes in a $400,000 Rolls Royce. He was being followed by a personal security force in a Dodge pickup truck, but for some reason they deemed it ok for him to drive off with an expired license and blood alcohol level of .13. He was booked, released and back right in time to catch pregame drills.

Seattle Mariner/Former Cardinal Adam Kennedy was caught in Orange County, CA back in late March for two counts of DUI (Driving under the influence, having a alcohol level over the legal limit) just two months after he was arrested on potential DUI. The potential DUI did not seem to hold up though as he was released a few hours later, which is major if he would have been charged with the first one in January as two DUIs within 10 years in California carries a sentence of 90 days to a year in prison, $1,000-$1,900 fine, two year license suspension, and he would be placed on a restricted license.

Derek Lowe of the Atlanta Braves was arrested April 28th on suspicion of DUI after he was caught racing in Atlanta. He was charged with DUI, reckless driving, and improper lane change. Lowe went on to almost pitch a no hitter just a week after his arrest.

Shin Soo Choo being arrested this past Monday, May the 2nd is finally what prompts the MLB to step in and look into adopting a policy of some kind.

The Cardinals are no strangers to DUI problems in the past of course, Tony La Russa was caught asleep at the wheel at a stoplight during spring training in Jupiter, Florida in 07. The officers found it incredibly odd but once they smelled the alcohol they knew what had happened and shortly thereafter he pled no contest to DUI charges. Only two months later our family suffered a tragic loss in the death of young prospect Josh Hancock who was driving drunk and ended up hitting a truck ending his life. Unfortunately it takes such instances of people wandering away to make people take a stand, the Cardinals banned alcohol from the clubhouse shortly thereafter.

The league CBA expires December 11 and both sides of the negotiations seem willing to put something together to combat this problem. Currently they have a drug policy in place and knowing Bud Selig this could very well look very similar where they require counseling and face possible suspension if caught in violation of the policy.